#13 Florida State Football 2013 Preview

Florida State Seminoles

Overall Rank: #13
Conference Rank: #2 ACC

Florida State Team Page#13 Florida State Football 2013 PreviewBuy Florida State Football Tickets

After four seasons under Jimbo Fisher, Florida State finally found itself atop the ACC again.  The Seminoles had not won the conference since 2005.  Their 2012 season harkened back to the old days of tough defenses with the likes of Derrick Brooks and Deion Sanders.  With arguably the best quarterback in the conference and playmakers on the other side of the ball, Florida State wore teams down with the loads of talent Fisher has gradually been bringing in.  The Seminoles are not looking to step back this season either. The post-Bobby Bowden era seems to have found its footing.  

2012 Record: 12-2, 7-1
2012 Bowl: Orange Bowl vs. Northern Illinois (W 31-10)
Coach: Jimbo Fisher
Offensive Coordinator: Jimbo Fisher
Defensive Coordinator:  Jeremy Pruitt

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Devonta Freeman, RB, 660 yards
Passing: Jacob Coker, QB, 45 yards
Receiving: Rashad Greene, WR, 741 yards
Tackles: Christian Jones, LB, 95
Sacks: Demonte McAllister, DL, 3.5
Interceptions: Tyler Hunter, DB, 3

Other Key Returnees: RB James Wilder, Jr., WR Kenny Shaw, OL Bryan Stork, OL Tre’ Jackson, OL Cameron Erving, DB LaMarcus Joyner, DB Karlos Williams, LB Telvin Smith, S Terrence Brooks, DT Timmy Jernigan

Key Losses: QB EJ Manuel, RB Chris Thompson, DE Tank Carradine, DE Bjoern Werner, WR Rodney Smith, CB Xavier Rhodes, LB Vince Williams, K Dustin Hopkins

You have to start with the defense.  They easily led the ACC in every major statistical category for a defense.  They were the best in the entire FBS in pass defense and top five nationally in several other areas, including second only to Alabama in total defense.  The secondary gave up just 161 yards per game to opposing offenses.  That’s impressive considering the good quarterbacks they went against.  The defense was assisted by the potency of the offense.  EJ Manuel led the offense to nearly 40 points per game.  Their high point totals allowed the defense to tee off on their counterparts and create havoc.  Brilliant pass rushers like Tank Carradine and Bjoern Werner, two NFL draft picks, aided the secondary.  It is easier to cover downfield when your front seven is doing a great job pressuring the quarterback.  They racked up 36 sacks on the season, which is a top 30 number.

After such a good season, you would be hard-pressed to find any glaring weaknesses for Florida State.  They could stand to improve in the passing game.  As good as EJ Manuel looked at times, the Seminoles still only threw for 265 yards a game.  They had a strong running attack, and they relied on that a lot.  But for as much speed as this team has year in and year out on the outside, those numbers probably should have been better.  Manuel is gone now, so it will be up to the inexperienced Jacob Coker or Jameis Winston to make the Seminoles fly.  That will go hand in hand with not turning the ball over.  Florida State was among the worst in the conference at ball control.  That’s not something you usually see with a conference champion.  They are going to probably have to finish on the plus side of turnover margin if they wish to repeat. There are a lot of new pieces in 2013.  A bunch of talented guys have moved on to bigger and better things.  Fundamentals will have to be sharper this year.

The Bottom Line:
With Manuel gone, expectations may be a bit shaky this season, at least in the early going.  Florida State has a solid stable of running backs to help the new starter under center, and their defense still boasts some ball hawks despite losing a bunch of strong players across the board.  They were so loaded last year, the defense will not miss a beat this season.  Nothing helps an offense like a phenomenal defense.  Once Fisher finds the right guy to put under center come August 31, this team should once again be poised for a fantastic run for another BCS bowl.  Clemson is a favorite this year, but Florida State has a great shot to repeat.

Projected Bowl: Sugar Bowl

2012 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 206.21 (24th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Passing Offense: 265.29 (39, 7)
Total Offense: 471.50 (19, 3)
Scoring Offense: 39.29 (10, 3)
Rushing Defense: 92.29 (3, 1)
Pass Defense: 161.86 (1, 1)
Total Defense: 254.14 (2, 1)
Scoring Defense: 14.71 (6, 1)
Turnover Margin: -0.43 (93, 9)
Sacks: 2.57 (26, 3)
Sacks Allowed: 1.86 (59, 5)

Madness 2014 NFL Draft Rankings:
#32 Timmy Jernigan
#52 Karlos Williams
#54 Christian Jones
#85 LaMarcus Joyner
#114 Bryan Stork
#116 James Wilder

Madness 2013 Football Recruit Rankings:
#9 Jalen Ramsey
#14 Matthew Thomas
#68 DeMarcus Walker
#98 Ryan Green
#129 Keith Bryant
#130 Ira Denson
#223 E.J. Levenberry


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